Your antral follicle count provides insight into your fertility and reproductive potential
When you visit Fertility Specialists of Texas, you can expect your doctor to order fertility testing. One of these tests is a transvaginal ultrasound to assess your ovaries and perform an antral follicle count. This is a simple procedure that tells our Dallas-Fort Worth fertility doctors more about your fertility. It also helps them determine what types of fertility treatment could be best for you.
Why is it important to perform an antral follicle count?
Women have all heard about the concept of “the biological clock.” However, they might not know what it means. All women are born with a lifetime supply of eggs in their ovaries. Your egg supply (ovarian reserve) decreases over time. Most women start to experience diminished ovarian reserve around their mid-30s. However, this decline can happen earlier or later for some women.
An antral follicle count can help you and your doctor learn more about your egg supply and where you are on your reproductive timeline.
What are antral follicles, and what do they tell us?
Before visiting our team, most patients don’t know what an antral follicle is. We explain that these are tiny structures on the ovaries that each contain an egg. While multiple follicles may develop each month, typically only one egg gets released per cycle.
Our Dallas-Fort Worth fertility doctors can view these follicles very early in your menstrual cycle by using a transvaginal ultrasound.
- For this quick and simple exam, your doctor or an ultrasound technician will place an ultrasound probe in the vagina.
- The probe will transmit images of your ovaries to a screen in the room. Your doctor can then count the number of follicles developing on your ovaries.
When it comes to an antral follicle count, having a higher number of follicles translates to a greater ovarian reserve. It also suggests that you will respond better to ovarian stimulation medications.
In contrast, a low count indicates a low ovarian reserve and that you may need a higher dose of medication to conceive. If you have a very low count, your doctor may suggest that you use IVF with donor eggs to conceive.
Regardless of what your transvaginal ultrasound reveals, our Dallas-Fort Worth fertility doctors can develop a treatment plan to help you conceive. Contact us to schedule an appointment and learn more.